Return to Rural Web Redesign Case Study - Forge and Smith
About The Organization

Return to Rural is a development initiative aimed at promoting the lifestyle and opportunities present within Southeastern Alberta's Special Area and MD of Acadia No. 34 region. They're all about “keeping it rural” for aspiring entrepreneurs and young people seeking to relocate.

Objectives
  • Provide greater device accessibility through Responsive Web Design
  • Improve organic SEO search results and boost overall conversion
  • Shape an enhanced web strategy allowing them to integrate social and blog capabilities
  • Allow users to search job and business listings
  • Organize content to make it highly accessible to audiences
  • Integrate an eCommerce platform

Phase 1

Prototyping

With a website featuring a log in for account members, a shop for purchases, and pages titled “Pioneers,” “Entrepreneurs” and “Lifestyle,” it was important that Return to Rural clearly convey their mission for new visitors. It became our job to make the site’s navigation as clean as possible. What exactly is Alberta’s special area? Two clicks is all it takes to find out.

 

Phase 2

Style Concepts

In selling the benefits of the small town experience, we didn't want to muddle the pages with visual noise and unnecessary clutter. Digestible fonts with cursive flourishes helped underscore the site's message. We incorporated their existing logo, with its blue and teal colour scheme, and applied the design to the rest of the site. Orange and yellow elements added visual punch. The inclusion of client photos helped authenticate the storytelling process.

style concepts

Phase 3

Bringing it all Together

Return to Rural required a site that would appeal to a web-savvy demographic of job seekers. In order to accomplish this, we implemented an employment and business listings page, with an advanced search filter and social sharing capabilities. Spreading the word about the benefits of rural life demanded that their many social channels be promoted. As such, we provided a prominent Instagram feed integration on their lifestyle page. Distributing their Municipal Housing and Education Training programs online involved some of our WooCommerce finesse. The creation of a two-column menu listing on their mobile page was another added touch for their on-the-go client base.

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